Mai Tai


Before I get going here, let me just say that I am outrageously happy to have a “search” tool on my blog. I was really on a roll a few years ago in this ol’ space, and apparently have found the time to post, according to my ‘category’ labels, 285 recipes. What?! That essentially means that there are a lot, and that I am bound to forget some of them. So for a moment, I’m going to share some links of my favorites so that YOU can remember:

Alright, I have to stop now before things get crazy. But hopefully, I’ve inspired you to use that good ol’ recipe index I made a long time ago (and just updated! finally! link’s on the left). There really are some gems in there.

Using the ‘search’ tool also helped me realize I’d already posted a classic ‘mole’ recipe a while back. I made a killer mole sauce last night, and I even took pictures! and then I started to think about a post for it, and had a sneaking suspicion that I’d already done it. it’s confirmed – here’s the post – a different recipe, but very very similar to what I did last night.

Finally, I am truly, legitimately, sharing a NEW RECIPE. It’s not something that will have you in the kitchen for hours. Shoot, it isn’t even food. But since it’s been a little toasty here in San Francisco (80!), it seems appropriate to share a summer cocktail.


Meet the MAI TAI. Now, you might be familiar with the more generic mai tai’s – the ones with pineapple juice and all the sugary stuff. That’s not how I roll here. This is a very classic drink, just like what I downed in Hawaii a couple of times back in May. If you do it correctly, you’ll forget the nasty sweet ones, I promise. And this might become your new drink of choice in the summertime. But be careful, one or two will possibly have you down for the count. Not that I’d know from experience, or anything…

The spirits used are important, but you could probably make some substitutes and come out alright (i.e., different types of rum, using just 1 rum). The important ingredient that you might have to search for is the ‘orgeat’, which is essentially a sweetened almond milk syrup. I’ve seen orgeat in California BevMos that’s produced by Small Hand Foods, but I doubt they distribute nationwide. You can order it, though! And you can search around for other brands in your area, as well.

Or! You can just make it yourself. There are many fancy recipes out there to make it from true scratch (like, using almonds and a hi-octane blender), but I found a very simple method that, in my opinion, is pretty damn good. I’ll post it below.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to skip it. And please, report back on your drinking explorations. I miss you. 😉


Mai Tai
makes 2 drinks
time commitment: <5 minutes, if you have your simple syrup and orgeat in hand.

printable version

2 oz amber rum (I used Appleton Estate V/X from Jamaica)
2 oz dark rum  (I used Pyrat XO Reserve from Anguilla)
1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liquer like Cointreau or Triple Sec)
1 oz orgeat (recipe below)
1/2 oz simple syrup (recipe below)
mint for garnish
Maraschino cherry for garnish
umbrella and tiki glass. I didn’t have these, but it would be cool if I did

combine all liquids (rum through simple syrup) into a cocktail shaker with ice. shake vigorously for 1 minute. pour into two glasses filled with large ice cubes and garnish.

(an alternative preparation is to combine everything except the dark rum, and to pour, or ‘float’ the dark rum on top. that’s the high roller fancy version!)


Homemade Orgeat, the easy way
from Craft Cocktails at Home; makes 1 cup

184 g unsweetened almond milk
88 g sugar
1/8 t almond extract
1/16 t orange blossom water (4 drops if you have a dropper)

combine it all in a jar, and store in the fridge


Simple Syrup
makes 1 cup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

combine ingredients in saucepan on medium heat. heat until sugar dissolves, and let cool. this can also be done in the microwave. store in fridge.

One thought on “Mai Tai

  1. Katelyn Sidley says:

    I loved your Mai Tai recipe, it caught my eye immediately and not just because of my love of cocktails! The use of unsweetened products so that the drink was refreshing and not a mess of sugary alcohols was my favorite part! Will definitely be trying this, this weekend!

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